Darebin Falcons ruck Lauren Pearce won the 2019 Lambert-Pearce Medal for the Swisse Wellness VFL Women’s best and fairest player at Monday’s VFL Best & Fairest Night at Crown Palladium.
The Melbourne AFLW-listed 26-year-old claimed Darebin’s third Lambert-Pearce Medal in the VFLW’s four-year history, polling 18 votes to join Daisy Pearce (2016) and Katie Brennan (2017) as winners of the honour from the Falcons.
Pearce earned votes from the umpires in seven of her 10 home-and-away matches this season, polling three votes five times, two votes once and one vote on another occasion.
She finished clear of Richmond AFLW-listed playmaker Monique Conti (16 votes), who was joined in the top five on the leaderboard by Essendon 40-year-old Cecilia McIntosh (14), Melbourne Uni ball-winner Ash Riddell (12) and Casey Demons co-captain Bianca Jakobsson (10).
In a campaign in which she played her 50th VFLW match for Darebin (in Round 13), Pearce averaged 19 disposals, 16 contested possessions, 33 hitouts and eight clearances per game, leading the competition for total contested possessions and also ranking in the top four players for hitouts, hitouts-to-advantage and clearances – despite missing four games for the 11th-placed Falcons.
She was adjudged best-afield in all four of their wins for 2019 – against Williamstown in Round 7, the NT Thunder in Round 10, the Geelong Cats in Round 12 and the Seagulls again in Round 14 – as well as in a narrow loss to the Bombers in Round 11.
A purple patch of 12 votes in five rounds during the back half of the season saw Pearce create a five-vote break on Conti with two rounds to play.
As Pearce sat out Darebin’s final couple of games, Conti earned votes in both the Tigers’ remaining matches – meaning she remarkably polled in all seven of her home-and-away appearances. However, Conti’s one-vote and two-vote outings in Round 15 and 16 respectively weren’t enough to see her reach the heights of Pearce.
OTHER VFL WOMEN’S HONOURS
DEBBIE LEE MEDAL (VFL Women’s Rising Star): Olivia Vesely (Southern Saints)
ROHENNA YOUNG MEDAL (VFL Women’s leading goalkicker): Jaimee Lambert (Collingwood) – 21 goals
VFL WOMEN’S TEAM OF THE YEAR: CLICK HERE to see team
ANN RULTON AWARD (club volunteer): Caroline Kilmartin (Western Bulldogs)
2019 LAMBERT-PEARCE MEDAL LEADERBOARD – CLICK HERE for the full list of votes
|Lauren Pearce||Darebin Falcons||18|
|Ash Riddell||Melbourne Uni||12|
|Bianca Jakobsson||Casey Demons||10|
|Harriet Cordner||Casey Demons||8|
|Poppy Kelly||Southern Saints||8|
|Kate Shierlaw||Southern Saints||8|